Pandemic not keeping Mayor's Cup Regatta from setting sail

GABE DICKENS/P-R FILE PHOTOA lone sailboat competes in the Mayor's Cup Regatta last summer on the waters of Lake Champlain. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 43rd Mayor's Cup Regatta is still on and ready to set sail at 10 a.m. today.

PLATTSBURGH — If you happen to take a glance out at Lake Champlain Saturday, you may see something that provides a sense of normalcy.

Even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll on the world and canceling countless events, a summer tradition many look forward to in the North Country is still on.

The 43rd annual Mayor's Cup Regatta will be held Saturday at 10 a.m., and while the field of competition is significantly smaller this year, the event is moving forward.

"We are still doing this race because of tradition," regatta coordinator Dr. Kjell Dahlen said. "We have no great expectations of the race, but we just want to keep it going and do the best that we can."

SMALLER ENTRY LIST

This year's entry list includes 24 boats across three divisions, including racing, cruising and multihull.

Last year's regatta saw 41 boats registered with more added on same-day registration.

"The issue we have this year is we don't have our Canadian sailors entered due to the travel restrictions, and with that as well as the fact we are in a pandemic, that has caused the field of boats to be smaller," Dahlen said.

Due to health and safety concerns, there will be no traditional post-race barbecue or award ceremony held.

FAVORITES

While the entry numbers are lower, there are still some familiar names slated to be on the water.

Plattsburgh's Ed and John Trombley are back to defend their Mayor's Cup title in the racing division with the crew of Odinn.

Peru's Craig Meyerson and his team on Souvenir came in second last summer and will look to take the title this time around.

Other boats Dahlen considered in the mix for the title included Bill Fastigi's Buffalo Theory squad from Winooski, Vt., as well as Plattsburgh boat Polar Express, skippered by Don Duley.

"There still will be very good competition out there," Dahlen said. "In order to have success, you need to make few mistakes. It will be interesting this year because the sailing season got a late start, and I think everyone is a little anxious to get out and sail."

The cruising division is guaranteed to have a new winner, as Montreal's Miro Balcar and the crew of End0-X will not be able to defend their Rotary Cup due to border restrictions.

In the multihull division, Saratoga Spring's Devin Van Zandt and the Blade Runner crew will look to defend their first-place finish from last year.

WEATHER

The forecast calls for variable clouds with showers and scattered thunderstorms, according to The Weather Channel.

The temperature is expected to reach 74 degrees at the start of the race with winds coming from the south at 9 mph.

Chances of thunderstorms do not escalate until the afternoon, and Dahlen said he expects the race to wrap up around 1 p.m.

"Hopefully, the thunderstorms will not start until the afternoon," Dahlen said.

"If it's just rain, we will have no problem sailing through that, but if there is lightning, safety becomes a concern and could cause us to abandon."

43rd Mayor's Cup Regatta Entries

Racing

Odinn, Ed & John Trombley (Plattsburgh)

Polar Express, Don Duley (Plattsburgh)

Buffalo Theory, Bill Fastigi (Winooski, Vt.)

Souvenir, Craig Meyerson (Peru)

Red Dragon, Bos Powell (Colchester, Vt.)

Stratos, Tris Coffin (Shelburne, Vt.)

Muse, Doug Friant (South Londonderry, Vt.)

It Wasn't Me, Branwell Lepp (Waitsfield, Vt.)

Rogue, Walt Marti (South Burlington, Vt.)

Witchcraft, Mark Stata (Renselaer)

Enki, Cindy Turcotte (Jericho, Vt.)

Thankful, Gerry Couture (Burlington, Vt.)

Lil'Bot, Benedek Erdos (South Burlington, Vt.)

Spooky, John O'Rourke & Mike Quaid (Williston, Vt.)

Cruising Division

Talisman, Les Velte (Londonderry, Vt.)

Luna, Tom Field (Ravena)

Crusader, John Hutchinson (Saxonburg, Pa.)

San Sebastian, Raz Pascalau (Plattsburgh)

Multihull Division

Blade Runner, Devin Van Zandt (Saratoga Springs)

This Side Up, Tom Field (Ravena)

Buzz, Peter Knapp (Schodack Landing)

Feralcat, Ted Feurer (Scotia)

Way 2 Many, Ballston Spa (Dan Kisel)

Hot Tamale, Tom Sweet (Chazy Landing)

Email Joey LaFranca:

jlafranca@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @JoeyLaFranca

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